*Given popularity of these waterfalls, consider planning your visit during off-peak times (early morning or weekdays) and avoid parking on roadways if parking lots are full.
*Waterfall flow is seasonal and affected by rainfall.
Don’t be confused by the multiple names for Smokey Hollow Falls – also known as Grindstone, Waterdown or Great Falls. They all describe the same beautiful ribbon waterfall in its leafy forest setting that flows from Grindstone Creek in Waterdown.
- At 10 metres tall, this isn’t the area’s biggest waterfall, but this short and fast-flowing waterfall is surrounded by a great section of the Bruce Trail. It has a rugged footpath tracing its way up and down the ravine formed by Niagara Escarpment.
- Once used to power a local sawmill, the falls are now the centre of beautifully rehabilitated park land.
Parking and Proximity to Falls
- A parking lot can be found just off Mill Street, not far from highway 5.
- There is a viewing platform beside the waterfall.
- The Great Falls loop is 3.5 km hike (with a 1.1 km side trail option) that is part of the Bruce Trail. A steep hill and steps are part of this walk that takes you from the forest to the top of the Niagara Escarpment. So expect a workout.
What to Do
- Rock Chapel Golf Centre, a couple of kilometres west of highway 6 on highway 5, features an 18-hole mini-putt course.
- Waterdown Village Farmers’ Market, open Saturday mornings May through October, features a long list of local vendors.
What to Eat
- The historic community of Waterdown has plenty of delicious treats to indulge in.
- Copper Kettle Cafe is known for its mouth-watering apple fritters
- Pick up meat, cheese and baked goods for a picnic at Harrington Lane Farms
- Not far, in neighbouring Freelton, West Avenue Cidery serves up small batch ciders in a stunning farm setting.
Enjoying Hamilton Waterfalls Safely
Please consider these tips to help keep you safe while respecting the environment and surrounding neighbourhoods.
- Waterfalls are located in environmentally sensitive areas – please stay on marked designated trails and obey closure signs; there are many rare plants that can be easily damaged or destroyed.
- Park in designated parking areas only.
- Do not cross active CN rail tracks to access waterfall areas and vistas. Crossing rail tracks is prohibited and illegal.
- Stick to marked paths and stay well back from slopes, edges and other fall or slipping hazards.
- Keep children and pets close.
- Do not climb or otherwise bypass fencing.
Please watch this safety video from the City of Hamilton.